8.3 Our Concern, Needs, and Weather Vary: Geographic Centered Integrated Warning Teams

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 2:00 PM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Erik M. Heden, NOAA, Newport, NC

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton, NY maintains a close relationship with its partners through local workshops and conferences as well as partner specific visits.  To fully embrace the idea of a Weather Ready Nation (WRN) and involve all of the partners at the same time, the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Binghamton worked with two social scientists, Dr. Gina Eosco from Cornell University and Jen Henderson from Virginia Tech to hold their first Integrated Warning Team (IWT) workshop in the spring of 2014.  The results were positive with over 120 people from various sectors in attendance.  The success, and subsequent challenge of an IWT, is how to follow-up and maintain momentum.  One of the aspects that were missing from this first workshop was participation from outside the local Binghamton area, with poor representation from larger cities in the forecast area such as Syracuse, NY and Scranton/-Wilkes-Barre, PA.  This was especially noticeable from the media sector in these areas.  WFO Binghamton serves 5 large media markets in the county warning area (CWA), with the weather and subsequent concerns of our partners being very diverse.   

In June of 2016 WFO Binghamton held their second IWT in Syracuse, NY.  One major goal of the second IWT was to increase participation by bringing the IWT to an area we serve instead of having them come to us. This smaller and more focused geographically-based workshop had just under 30 participants from both the Syracuse and Utica, NY  television markets, emergency managers from the local and state level across Central, NY, and forecasters from the National Weather Service.  Feedback was very favorable and what was most liked included the face to face conversations with the various sectors and open frank discussions among all 3 IWT entities.   The EM community stated that they often do not have any interaction with the local TV meteorologists from television so this workshop helped facilitate this. Additionally, NWS Binghamton staff got to see firsthand the roles of Emergency Management, the Media and the NWS during hazardous weather.  This presentation will review the benefits and challenges of hosting an IWT, how varying the location of the IWT can allow for better participation from everybody, the benefit to both core partners and forecasters, and how IWTs help build a WeatherReady nation.

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